Globalization and national information policy in Nigeria.

Author:Uhegbu, Augonus Nnamdi


This paper draws a relationship between globalization and national information policy. Globalization talks of one world with shared universal values in terms of easy movement of goods and services and science and technology, stressing the the interconnectedness among the peoples of the world (Baylis and Smith, 2001; Salami, 2006). National information policy talks about laying down guidelines to regulate participation.

Nigeria has made giant strides toward global economic integration through privatization. It is also liberalizing capital markets with increasing scope of mergers and acquisitions especially in the financial sector. The country has continued to relax capital controls which posed a significant obstacle to foreign direct investment (FDI). More importantly, Nigeria is an active participant in the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD)--a development plan which seeks to liberate Africa from underdevelopment, poverty, warm and corruption (Siddiq, 2003; Soludo, 2007). These are indicators that Nigeria fully supports and encourages globalization.

By integrating the world into a global economy through unhindered movement of goods and services, globalization can undermine the development of the library and information sector in Nigeria. This is where national information policy becomes necessary, so that while the nation's library and information industry benefits from globalization, its side effects can also be properly controlled. It is not intended to portray globalization as a destructive mechanism. Rather it is a universal pursuit for the general welfare of nations. It requires careful acceptance and application in an economy such as Nigeria's. This can be achieved by certain regulatory guidelines.

Globalization and National Policy

Globalization and policy are concepts that have attracted a lot of attention. Scholars, especially economists and administrators, give different accounts of what globalization and policy should mean. Occampo and Martin (2003) have identified three phases of the development of globalization. The first covers 1870-1919 and is characterized by high capital and labour mobility, increased trade, and reduction in the cost of transport. The second phase began immediately after the World War II and was characterized by efforts to develop international institutions for financial and trade cooperation, as well as significant expansion of trade among industrial countries. The last phase of globalization began around 1973 and was characterized by factors such as the spread of free trade, a growing presence in transnational corporations operating, the expansion and visible mobility of capital, a shift toward standardization of development models, trade protection mechanisms, and tight resolutions on the movement of labour.

There are two opposing views on globalization. Anti-globalization scholars perceive it as an underdevelopment strategy, a way of opening up all economies and all production, services, and natural resources to the business operations of expansionary global corporations. To them, globalization is a risk to world economies; another form of imperialism that encourages economic exploitation and deceit where a few powerful and greedy individuals and nations seek to subjugate and exploit an unsuspecting majority. To anti-globalization scholars, globalization is championed by developed countries to control...

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